Do Dogs Dream?

Dream Dog

Man’s Best Friend. One of the smartest mammals on the planet. They eat, they sleep… but do they dream?

Have you ever spotted your pup taking a snooze and suddenly let out a woof as his legs twitch? Is he dreaming? What is really happening when dogs move and make noises in their sleep?

While no dog has ever woken up for a dream to tell us about their crazy nightmare, there is tons of scientific evidence to prove that our dogs are in fact dreaming!

Researchers have compared brain activity and sleep patterns between humans and canines. Like people, dogs enter what is called the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep in which dreaming occurs in humans and seemingly in dogs as well. During this deep sleep your pup may move their legs as if running, whimper or bark, or change breathing patterns from deep to rapid breathing.

Check out this cute dog dreaming away:

Now lets answer a few questions:

Q: What could they be dreaming about?

A: They’re most likely dreaming about their doggy days like running, digging, chasing, or chewing at their favorite bone.

Q: Do all dogs dream the same?

A: Research has shown that smaller dogs actually dream more than larger dogs. Puppies dream a ton as well! Incidentally, adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Puppies spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time in REM sleep, no doubt compacting huge quantities of newly acquired data.

Q: Are dogs the only animals that dream?

A: Recent evidence suggests that animals even simpler and less intelligent than our genius dogs seem to dream

Q: Is this normal?

A: It is perfectly normal and healthy for your dog, and means that they’re in a deep sleep. It is best not to wake them up, just cover them with a blanket and “let sleeping dogs lie.”

Share your best doggy dreaming story with us in the comments below:

Want to know more? Here are some great sources from:

Cesar Millan 

Psychology Today

Dogster 

Pet Place

And we just couldn’t get enough of these dreamy dogs:

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New Wearable Dog Technology? Why yes! Exclusive Launch event May 30-31st in NYC at Zoomies

Big News everyone! We are proud and happy to be hosting our NYC launch event on May 30-31 in NYC at the iconic and legendary Zoomies.

If you are in the area we would love to meet you, and if you are not then be sure to tell your friends and family!

We also have a brand new website, and would love it if you took a look!

Hachiko zoomies email campaign 2

Spring is here! 8 things to do to prepare your dog for the changing season

SPRING

Spring is in the air!

The spring breeze, the longer days, the joys of being outside in the warm sunshine. We love spring, and we are oh so glad it’s back!

But before you throw reckless abandon into the wind, use our easy spring checklist to make sure your god is just as ready for the changing season as you.

  1. Grooming– ‘Tis the season for shedding. Get a leg up on hairballs but taking your pooch to the groomers for a weather appropriate cut.
  2. Flea control- Warm weather brings back an assortment of fleas, ticks and the likes. Check out our recommendations on various methods to keep them away.
  3. Heartworm prevention– mosquito’s are back ad can bring with them one of the largest dangers to household pets. Now’s the time to get back on the heartworm prevention medication if you took a break during winter.
  4. Seasonal allergies– While we may be sneezing with watery eyes and a leaky nose, dog allergies tend to show up on their skin. Keep an eye out for excessive itching. If you think your dog has allergies visit your vet, and look at our guide to homemade remedies that can help ease their itching.
  5. Exercise and get into shape– This is the perfect time to start working off those winter pounds. If you have been extra lazy this winter start slow with long walks and work your way up a jog in the park.
  6. Shade and water– While this is important year round it’s even more important now! If you are for long periods made sure that your dog is getting some rest in the shade, and enough to drink. We love this portable water bowl which is a snap to carry around.
  7. Microchip– if your dog is going to be spending more time outside it’s best to get them a microchip. Just in case..
  8. Keep e’m clean– Running around in the spring to us = running around in the mud. We absolutely love Dog Tails to clean up after a long days play!

Dog Food Made in the USA

MADEIN THEU.S.A

Here at Hachiko we love local, independent and small batch producers. It’s about living greener, supporting our communities and making sure our pets get the same love and care we put into our food.

There are a few companies out there that have amazing products- and just in case you are not yet familiar with them, here are a few of our favorites USA made Dog Food companies (please tell us yours in the comments!)

  1. Small Batch– Grown and made in California, Washington and Oregon they are a small family owned business using only organic, free range and raw ingredients. They have a great line for puppies on their website
  2. Froom Family Pet Food– A 5th generation family owned business based in Wisconsin. Follow their guide to find the perfect food for your dog
  3. The Honest Kitchen– Prepared in the USA, with ingredients carefully sourced from around the world Honest Kitchen prepared FDA approved Human Grade Pet Food. The have a large line (including grain free, whole grain and base mix)
  4. Abby’s Choice– If you are in the NY and fans of a raw food diet it’s worthwhile to take a look at Abby’s Choice. The frozen meals are made weekly in small batches, and usually are made to order
  5. Munster Milling Co– A family owned company based out of Munster Texas, who aim to source their ingredients locally from farms only 20-30 miles from their plant
  6. Nulo– An Austin, TX based company which makes and distributes in small batches of domestically grown pet food and promises to always be grain free, high meat protein, Glycemacare, probiotic and without any artificial preservatives, colorings or flavoring

To get more tips on great local and small vendors follow the blog or sign up on Hachiko’s website to get stay up to date

Hachiko Debate: Supplements- when are they necessary and when are they a waste of money?

SUPPLEMENTS

Dog’s that are in good health and eat balances diets should not need supplements. In fact sometime supplements can also do harm- so before you decide that your dog needs them take a moment to look at the real need.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association from 2006 the most common supplements given are multivitamins, fatty acids (to improve coat shine), Probiotics (for gastrointestinal problems), supplements to support arthritic joins and antioxidants (to counter aging effects such as cognitive dysfunction).

Now it’s estimated that one third of every dog in the US receives some kind of supplement, and we are talking about a 1 Billion dollar market, that has little scientific evidence behind it. The FDA and many vets believe that pets receive a balanced diet when they are feed commercially processed dog food, while others think they are a good way to improve health.

There are a few general rules of thumb when considering  adding supplements to your dog’s diet:

You may consider adding supplements (after consulting with your vet!) if:

  • You feed your pet a homemade diet
  • You dog as particular health needs

You probably don’t need supplements if:

  • When you dog is in good health
  • If you feed them a store bought pet food diet (they usually contain the ingredients you are looking to supplements and adding more may have adverse effects)

Why is this such a big issue? Well overdoes of vitamins can be very bad. According to vets excess calcium can cause bone problems, too much Vitamin A or D can lead to vitamin toxicity with effects such as dehydration, joint pain, muscular atrophy and loss of appetite.

If, after consulting with your vet, you do decide to add supplements then here too you need to do your research and choose carefully! The National Animal Supplement Council checked joint support products on the market, and found that 25% didn’t really contain what they claimed on the label. When ConsumerLab.com tested thee probiotic supplements they only found one with enough dosage to be effective.

What to look for when looking at pet supplements:

  • Know exactly what ingredient you are looking for and check the label
  • Look for brands that have commissioned clinical studies
  • Gauge their expertise- look for brands that specialize in one area, or contact them directly to understand how the product was formulated and how long they have been in business
  • Look for certifications from third parties (such as the National Animal Supplement Council)
  • Do not give your pets human supplements. There are ingredients that are harmful to dogs!
  • Don’t fall to false promises- if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Supplements promising to alleviate cancer, parvovirus or hip dysplasia? Move along…

What do you think? Do you give your pets supplements? Why? Tell us in the comments!

Additional Reading:

Pets WebMD supplement guide

Pet MD Supplement guide

Top 10 supplements and do they work

Life with Beagle- are supplements worth it?